14 December 2009

I have just reinstated the Railworks review as I feel I may have over-reacted to the issues back in September. I will also be restoring the link to UK Trainsim as once again I was probably a bit hasty in my actions.

There's been quite a few positive developments with Railworks including some interesting locomotive and stock releases. These can be purchased via the Steam shop embedded in the Railworks opening screen. In particular for UK users the "Tornado" steam locomotive looks to be a cracking add on and has received high praise on the forums. For more exotic tastes, there's also the US Challenger steam locomotive pack which has also been well received.

Anyhow on the route building front, I've been quietly beavering away in Railworks and am pleased to announce release of my latest creation - "Heartbeat Moor". This is a very freelanced version of the NYMR in Yorkshire running from Grosmont to Pickering. The file has been placed in the queue for upload at UK Trainsim and will hopefully be available in the next day or two.

Other train sim news - Auran have just released their latest version of Trainz - TS2010. A copy of the DVD version is on order and I hope to get a review done in the New Year.

06 September 2009

Withdrawal of files from UKTS has now been completed. I would also add that coverage of Rail Simulator and Railworks has been withdrawn from this site, in order to focus on the exciting future for the Auran Trainz programme.

04 September 2009

Further to the issues noted yesterday, I'm pleased to report the web hosting issue has been resolved and the site will continue, though possibly with some changes to the focus. The other issue over file hosting at UKTS remains under consideration.

03 September 2009

Due to a dispute over domain registration and hosting billing it's possible the site may disappear or go into limbo in the next two or three weeks. Should it go down permanently, I am unlikely to recreate it elsewhere.

Following the unsatisfactory resolution of a recent forum debate on UK Trainsim I am reluctantly considering withdrawing my file downloads hosted at the site and reviewing whether they continue to distribute my Five Route CD for MSTS. I haven't made a final decision yet but would suggest if you want any of my files currently hosted at UKTS, or the MSTS CD, you get them in the next few days. This does not affect any files uploaded at or the Auran DLS, with whom I have no issues.

02 August 2009

I don't tend to post much about MSTS these days and indeed had almost done with the sim...or so I thought. Now and again something comes along that completely changes your mind and in this case it was the arrival of the North Wales Coast Route addon. This has been created on behalf of the Class 15 Diesel Preservation Society by Chris Baily (of ELR addon fame) and his team. The route consists of the section between Chester and Holyhead plus the Llandudno branch, a fine collection of 1970's period traction and rolling stock and - icing on the cake - a range of activities which covers the entire working timetable for a 24 hour period. The whole thing looks superb too, as I said if you thought MSTS was done then think again. The route has been lovingly and accurately put together with many custom objects, looks every bit as good as what RS/Railworks can offer. The route can either be purchased direct from the Class 15 Society. At £25 this is more than reasonable and again excellent value for money, compared to some of the single loco packs for Railworks that have been priced at well over £10 for one loco, a few liveries and hardly any scenarios.

Buy and enjoy!

24 January 2009

Not a good day for train simming, I'm afraid. As some of you may already have gathered from reports on the forums or wider news items, Microsoft have once again decided to cancel Train Simulator 2. This is a bitter blow, not just to those eagerly awaiting the title but to the developers and programmers working on the project who now find themselves out of a job, as MS have to all intents and purposes also shut down Aces Studios - the guys responsible for Train and Flight simulation development. Downsizing seems to be a way of life at the moment, even where companies are still making a profit - if the revenue goes down slightly gives them a perfect excuse to cut staff numbers. How can the global economy recover if no-one is making anything to sell, whether it be software or some other commodity? Otherwise the whole thing will continue to spiral down until the global economy fails, utterly, no one will have jobs or houses and the human race will return to a nomadic tribal existence wandering the land.

Enough politics I guess, but it is particularly frustrating that MSTS2 was more than 2/3 through development and had originally been slated for release by now until it was put back to "Holiday 2009". Maybe they bit off more than they could chew with the "World of Rails" concept and a more conventional sim with the sandbox route editor would have ensured a quicker and easier release. It's now the second time Microsoft have done this to the train sim community and, while kudos remains for their vision in bringing out the original MSTS, they have lost all credibility in my opinion even if at some future juncture they announce yet another train sim product. Stick to making your botched operating systems...

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